Friday, May 30, 2008

The Standstill Will Be Over Soon, I Promise

Hey Moonies - it's been a rough month for me (especially the last two weeks) and I'm personally apologizing for the lack of updates. I had to deal with a really bad car accident involving my family among other stresses. Things are starting to get better with that so I will be returning to update you all soon with what has been happening with Sailor Moon. I want to take this time to personally thank all of my friends and fans who have been supportive through this hard time - it really means a lot! I will have a few videos posted very soon of some TV appearances the VAs have done recently, so you can all look forward to that as well as a big summer exclusive! Until I get caught up though, we have a couple things to share with you all!

Firstly, our awesome site programmer and commercials editor, The Me, is having lots of fun with Dr. Mario Online Rx! This game is a part of Wii Ware, and can be purchased for 1000 points. Here we see his Miis dancing after beating the first level in Virus Buster mode. But wait, two of them have Tiaras?! You are not mistaken, those are Miis fashioned after Sailor Moon and Sailor Mars! To the left of Sailor Moon is everyone's favorite tuxedoed hero, Mamoru, who is sporting the latest fashion in maskwear. Here's a closeup of them!

Secondly: earlier we told you of some major convention news involving Mitsuishi Kotono, Keiko Han, Akira Kamiya, and Yasuo Yamaguchi appearing at Animazement 2008! Genvid has posted a video of a live dubbing of Sailor Moon which can be seen here, and A Fan's View also covered the event. If any of our readers were lucky enough to attend the panel, we would love to hear your stories!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Naoko, Are You Reading This?

Letter Wins State Competition!

前略 - 草々武内直子:

寒い日が続いておりますが、いかがお過ごしですか。どこにいるの? 2008年に再びあなたに会うことを願っています。


Of course, we would like to write more to Naoko Takeuchi. In the United States, there is a competition known as "Letters About Literature", where readers write a personal letter to an author, living or dead, from any genre. The readers then go on to explain how that author's work changed their way of thinking about the world or themselves. One state winner, Ashley Crossman, wrote a very moving letter to Naoko Takeuchi. We think it would be great if in the case of those authors who are still living, if the Library of Congress would pay for these letters to be sent to them. Ashley, you now join the list of Moon Chase's Special People for your letter and your unwavering spirit inspired by Chibi-Usa!

Sailor Moon in the Top 10?

We came across this very interesting article today. Two weeks ago, the Sailor Moon S and the SS movies scored at #9 and #10 in anime DVD sales in Malaysia. These titles have been out of print for a very long time anywhere outside of Japan, and we are wondering why those two titles are so popular, and why now of all times. If any of our Malaysian readers has an answer, we would love to hear it!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Moon Chase’s Mother’s Day Special - All About Her Mother!

Things have been crazy the last few days here, and it wasn’t until late last night an idea came to me about what to do for the Special this year. Last year’s Special was very popular and it still continues to be one of the top articles people check out. This year, we present to you, All About Her Mother, or rather, Sailor Moon’s Mother, Naoko Takeuchi!

Naoko Takeuchi was born March 15th , 1966 in Kofu city, in Yamanashi Prefecture. Her parents are Kenji and Ikuko Takeuchi, and she has a younger brother named Shingo. She named Usagi’s family after her own! She is a Pisces and if you consider Chinese astrology, her birthday falls within the lunar month of the Rabbit! She enjoys figure skating, swimming, astronomy, physics, driving, and furniture. She has interests in otaku and their culture. She is also a big fan of a very old tennis manga, Smash wo Kimero! She also has three piercings in each ear, because she likes to wear pearls. She dreamed of having a Porsche one day, and now has one which she got when she made it big with Sailor Moon! She loves comics, anime, and special effects a lot. She admires Yukio Mishima, a Japanese author who is famous for his post war works, as well as his very individual brand of nationalism. He also committed Seppuku in 1970. The inspiration for the many characters named after gems in her manga came from her visits to the Yamanashi Gem Museum. Because she was also a chemist, she understood a lot of the gems and minerals she encountered as well as their achiral and chirality and therefore named the characters accordingly.

She attended North Kofu Municipal Junior High School and later First High School in Kofu (known as Kofu Ichi High School). In High School, she was a member of the Astronomy, Geology, Festival Planning, and Manga clubs. She was a VIP with the Festival Planning committee, and she designed a poster for a high festival which was hailed as work that was beyond the level of a high school student. Naoko could really draw in her teenage years! It was because of this poster that she was noticed by a lot of people, and this lead to her eventual signing with Kodansha. Her father, though weary of the Manga industry, suggested she go to University with a backup plan in mind in case her dreams of being a Mangaka didn’t work out. At 19, Naoko Takeuchi was pursuing chemistry at the Kyoritsu College of Pharmacy in the hopes of becoming a pharmacist, but was also drawing manga on the side. Her first title, Love Call, won her Kodansha’s Best New Artist award in September of 1986! She graduated in the late 80s from Kyoritsu, and her senior thesis dealt with the field of medical use of electrical engineering or more specifically, the ultrasound. Her thesis was probably titled (though she doesn’t quite remember) Heightened Effects of Thrombolytic Actions Due to Ultrasound.After she graduated, she worked in Internal Medicine at the Jikei University School of Medicine’s Teaching Hospital. This was located in Tokyo’s Minato Ward, where Sailor Moon took place! Naoko worked on a few smaller titles, The Cherry Project, Maria, and Chocolate Christmas, and began Code Name Sailor V in 1991. Sailor Moon made her debut in 1992, and was the one big break she had been hoping for. The Smash Hit won her Kodansha’s 17th shojo manga award in 1993, and the rest as we all know is history!She married Yoshihiro Togashi, another Mangaka in 1999, and in 2001, gave birth to a son whose name has never been disclosed, though he has been nicknamed Petit Ouji (Little Prince) and more recently, Junior.

We’re not entirely sure what she is up to right now. Last we heard, she gave a lecture to business in 2005 at Ritsumeikan University. In 2006, she said that both her and Yoshihiro had a few viral infections and told their fans to wash their hands and rinse out their mouths frequently. Naoko’s blog has been discontinued from the official Sailor Moon website, and we don’t think that she is working on the Sailor Moon website, or that she is still drawing manga. Yoshihiro hasn’t mentioned her in any of his little blurbs he writes when he publishes Hunter X Hunter.

Nonetheless, on this Mother’s Day 2008, we salute Naoko Takeuchi and everything that she has bought the world through her manga, anime, and live action ventures! In honor of her on this day, we're now going to show you an old interview of hers we dug up from the glory days of Sailor Moon!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The New Speed Racer Movie Ain't Doing So Well At The Box Office...

So - our poll results are in, and thanks to all 55 of you that voted! Seriously, we try to add polls to this site to add a bit of fun and we definitely know there's more than 55 of you who read this site, so we encourage you all to vote! 61.8% of you voted that you'd go see a Sailor Moon movie with a darker perspective on the plot, just like the new Speed Racer Movie. 16.4% told us that while you thought the flashy effects were cool, you probably wouldn't go see it, and 21.8% were undecided.

Speed Racer just opened last week in theaters, and so far it isn't doing so well, raking in a disappointing 6.1 million on Friday. Nearly every review we have read has panned the flick, and we Moon Chase staffers aren't planning on seeing it for now (though we may brave it for second run theaters). We weren't too impressed with the first 8 minutes of the movie, and we thought it was a cross between Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby and the popular F-Zero GX video game for the Nintendo Game Cube. We really don't like the outside scenery at around the 3 minute mark - it looks too fake. We're embedding the first 8 minutes below for you all to see. If any of our readers have gone to see it, we'd love to hear from you! Post a comment below!

This being said, this is only the first in many American adaptations of anime titles to live-action movies to come. Next up is Dragon Ball, and we've seen a lot of pictures from the set of this film and our expectations are continuously getting lowered. These blogs (link 1, link 2) are doing a very good job of covering the film's production. We worry this Fox film won't do the original anime much justice. Not too long ago, Dreamworks finally announced that they had gotten the rights to make a Ghost in the Shell 3-D Live Action movie. GiTS is one of our favorites here at Moon Chase, and just in case anyone from Dreamworks is reading this, PLEASE DON'T MESS THIS UP! Don't follow the example of Speed Racer. Since Avi Arad is at the helm of this one, we have a lot more faith in him that he will make this one great - after all, his Iron Man is #1 for the second week in a row !

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Yoshihiro Togashi May 2008 Update!

Publication Schedule Slightly Shuffled

Hey fans - upon the request of a fan who left a comment yesterday wondering when Mr. Naoko Takeuchi was going to resume his epic manga Hunter X Hunter, we thought this would be a good short article to try to find an answer too. The good news is, fans got a treat in last week's issue of Jump magazine - Yoshihiro gave readers two chapters of the Chimera Ant story arc (chapters 22 +23) and they ended on a cliffhanger. From some of the reviews we have read, the fans are saying that this batch of comics since his return last March represent some of his best work in the series! At the end of the chapter, he writes to his fans saying that because he gave them two chapters, there will be no manga this week, but the next week (May 12th)will be the final chapter in this arc. Fair enough, 10 weeks of new chapters is 10 weeks, and at the very least, Yoshihiro has promised the fans that they will get their last chapter. As of this writing, we are unsure when the manga will return after this arc is completed.

We also got to see a note he wrote to fans at the very end of his comics for this issue! It seems Yoshihiro is on a diet now which requires him to walk 10,000 steps a day! He speaks of his son, Junior (but no word on what his real name is just yet). No mention of Naoko in this one :(. Yoshihiro just turned 42, and from all of us at Moon Chase, Happy Birthday! We are providing you all with the translation:

Author Comment:

I bought a Pedometer! It is easier to walk 10,000 steps if you like being around kids!

Is this also part of the diet? When I play with my son, I can make between 5000-8000 steps. I find reaching 10,000 steps is fascinating! Togashi and Junior will be doing more activities outdoors very soon!

And 4/27 (Sunday) was my 42nd birthday! Congratulations!

Friday, May 02, 2008

And Now, To Answer That Question Lots Of You Are Asking...

To all our readers:

We’ve gotten a few emails from fans regarding possible campaigning to bring back Sailor Moon. While we usually take the time to email every fan back, we’re noticing that over the last month we’ve been getting a lot of emails lately about the same thing, and hopefully this post will answer that. The question everyone is asking is:

Why is Moon Chase not organizing a campaign to bring the show back?

Because at this point in time, it would be absolutely futile. Fans have to remember that Naoko Takeuchi was one of the big forces (if not the biggest force) in all of the international rights being pulled. Jay Navok of has been trying for quite some time now to get in touch with Naoko to get the rights to use images in his book, Warriors of Legend, however he has not had a lot of luck in getting a contact. In fact, to even get an address would probably cost a lot of money and then you run into issues wondering if it’s worth it to attempt to send a letter she may not even read. The letters would also likely have to be read in Japanese, and machine translation will not do for something like this. It’s useless to start a campaign when it would be very difficult to get the attention of some key players in the matter in Japan. We have thought of a few ideas for possible campaigns, but right now is not a good time - especially since Anime News Network is reporting quite frequently that the anime industry is in major trouble here in North America, among other issues. We also think that maybe now isn’t a good time to contact Naoko even if we could, since her husband, Yoshihiro Togashi keeps jumping in and out of the manga scene in Japan for undisclosed reasons.

We have organized a couple, smaller campaigns. This was done to prove to any of the industry execs that do read the site and keep tabs on what is going on with Sailor Moon to let them know a significant number of fans are still interested. We ran the letter writing campaign last year when Amazon had posted bootleg DVDs of the series passing them off as legit! We also did promote ANN’s poll to see what series would be popular if Toei were to expand their AniBB service to North America. And of course, one of this site’s biggest purposes is to bring you as much Sailor Moon News that we can from all over the world, be it sightings, inspirations, or what the actors are up to. That’s a campaign in itself to create awareness to and support from the fans. Many argue that Sailor Moon is passe, but with everything that is going on, we don’t think so! We never expected to have nearly 30k hits by now, which has pretty much tripled our expectations for this blog.

Readers also have to remember that we’re not SOS. We are creating awareness of what we find the fandom might be interested in reading, but we are currently not running an active campaign to bring the show back. In some places we are more, and some places we are less than what SOS was in its heyday. We are simply a site that reports on where Sailor Moon is; where it’s needed we also campaign to support the show. There’s so much out there that fans are missing out on, and we work our very hardest to bring as much of it as we can to you all.

We really don’t recommend fans start a campaign yet. However, there may be an opportunity in the coming future. Should there be more talk of Toei expanding their AniBB service to North America, then we may plan a campaign to let them know how much fans would like to see Sailor Moon included. It’s best to sit and watch and see how this does when it happens (if it does), but acting now probably wouldn’t have any effect.

Here are the best things that you as a fan can do to support a licensed release of Sailor Moon:

-Don’t buy illegal copies of Sailor Moon. That’s just giving pirates more incentives to continue to make more copies for sale to overseas buyers, and it really wouldn’t show anything to Toei if they were supported. By not purchasing these bootlegs, you are showing Toei you’d rather have a legit release of the show. If you are still dying for the DVDs, look for legit ones on eBay or other internet stores. They are still available, but some are hard to find, and all are definitely pricey.

-Support the actors from the show (especially for foreign dubs). If the show is to return, the production companies are likely to keep the same cast they had before for continuity’s sake, and supporting the actors and actresses shows the VAs that you really enjoyed their performances, and that you want to see them back in the role. And hey, a lot of their work outside of Sailor Moon is really good too!

-Buy licensed anime. Given the state of the industry and some fans using fansubs of licensed titles as a quick and dirty solution to getting their favorite anime instead of going to the store and getting it, doesn’t help the anime industry much. This may result in many productions not making it here in the future. Buying licensed anime shows the distributors that you still care about anime being released in North America.

-Promote this site, and other Sailor Moon fansites you like in as many places as you can. Some fans who loved watching the show have no idea where to turn to see what is going on with the show - the more awareness that you can create among fans to say “hey, the show may be dead but the fandom is not!” means in the future, should a campaign ever arise, everyone knows where to find the information (and it makes it a lot easier for us in rounding up everyone to get involved).

-Remind the world around you once in a while about Sailor Moon. Cosplay as your favorite Senshi at a con, show a couple episodes to a few girls who look bored and need inspiration or to a youth group, or find some other ways to keep it up and about in your community. People will remember “Oh yeah, that show about the meatball head I used to watch when I was younger!” and they will probably search for it on the internet, and come across sites like this to find out what’s happening. Keeping Sailor Moon in the top searches for Anime also sends a message that fans still care about it in North America.

This being said, we have something very big coming up soon this summer for you all to look forward to - but we're keeping it a secret until it drops . You'll all just have to wait and see!